Dr. Roger M. Wakimoto is assistant director for the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO). The GEO Directorate has an annual budget of approximately $1 billion in support of core research in the atmospheric, polar, earth and ocean sciences.
Prior to coming to NSF, Wakimoto served as director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is sponsored by NSF. Prior to becoming NCAR director, he served as associate director for NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory. Wakimoto is a geophysicist with expertise in tornadoes, thunderstorms and other types of severe weather.
"Roger brings to NSF significant depth and breadth of knowledge in the sciences GEO supports," said former NSF Director Subra Suresh at the time of Wakimoto's appointment. "His record of strong leadership will serve NSF and the scientific community well, given his outstanding work at NCAR and his dedication to basic research."
As the principal source of federal funding for university-based fundamental research in the geosciences, the GEO Directorate addresses the nation's need to understand, predict and respond to environmental events and changes and to use the Earth's resources wisely. Basic research in the geosciences advances scientific knowledge of the Earth's environment including resources such as water, energy, minerals and biological diversity. GEO-supported research also advances our ability to predict natural phenomena of economic and human significance, such as climate change, weather, earthquakes, fish-stock fluctuations and disruptive events in the solar-terrestrial environment.
GEO manages facilities and an academic research fleet, including the newly launched R/V Sikuliaq and the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, which was dedicated in October 2012.
Wakimoto was a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he chaired the department. He has written or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and served on numerous committees, panels and boards for NSF, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society and other organizations. He has won numerous awards and honors, including a scientific and technical achievement award from the Environmental Protection Agency for observations of air pollution and the Meisinger Award from the American Meteorological Society in recognition of his contributions to understanding mesoscale weather events.
Wakimoto began his NSF appointment in February 2013.